Hot Tub Swim Spa Expos

These events can be a good resource for buying hot tubs and swim spas but you need to be savvy when buying from someone out of town.

There are a few things to consider when entering into these high-pressure environments so get out your bullshit detector because they can be a good resource or a nightmare.

bullshit

The reality is with the right brand and a good local delivery and service person. they can be a good experience, but a lot of the times the brands represented at these events are low end small regional manufacturers with lots of bells and whistles but very little substance, they are marked up to unreasonably high retail prices and given massive discounts sometimes ending up higher than you could buy local in some cases. I have personally seen mid grade spas like Dynasty marked up to over $20,000 and offering expo prices of $13,000 which is still over what you can buy them for retail!

On the other hand, there are some of the larger manufacturers that do a great job and offer some solid pricing on really good spas with local support networks that are committed and reliable.

First of all forget the factory direct angle, ask to see the invoice. The name of the company on the invoice is who you are buying from and ultimately they are the ones who will control your service level, a quick check of the company to make sure they are legit and well regarded is never a bad idea. If they claim to have a local representative then get the details and again check the information, even a quick call to the local guy to make sure he is dedicated to servicing you and your new purchase.

A good deal on a good brand with a good local guy to back you up is great…

On the other hand, an overpriced mid grade spa from a slash and burn artist who is running hundreds of miles away with you money can be the beginning of a really bad experience.

 

37 Comments:

  1. Hi, went to an expo this past weekend to get some info and some education. To my surprise it really wasn’t an expo, the only company there was master spa.

    We walked out having purchased an 8.25 Twighlight for $9500. We didn’t intend on buying, so with the cost I’m starting to wonder if we got a good deal or not. Really hadn’t researched hot tubs that was the point of going to expo. Wasn’t really sure if master spas was a good brand or not. Reading some of the stuff on here it sounds like they are good and maybe even the best.

    So, did we do good and get a good deal or did we get the inflated msrp treatment?

    • That’s a good number on that spa, Twilight is good value for the money, if you compare it to a lot of spas out there it is seriously underpriced in general.

  2. Looking at a E-8 Dr. Wellness Spa. We live in south jersey and have limited space. The price was advertise at 7500. But I do not know if that includes shipping. What is your opinion on this swim spa.

    • I can’t find much real info on the Dr wellness a lot of vague references about inexpensive spas being affordable, It’s using some control and heating system I have never seen and I have seen all the top 5. I love the crazy free heat pitch about the friction manifolds 🙂 The laws of physics are clear and they do apply even in the blissful world of your hot tub 🙂 the electric immersion heater is super efficient… Friction heat means we take electrical energy transform it into mechanical energy of the spinning motor (loose a percentage from the transfer), then transfer it to water pressure in the pump (loose a percentage from the transfer) then convert the water motion back to mechanical energy of the friction heater (loose a percentage from the transfer) then make heat ..LMAO… it’s a gimmick… way less efficient than just using the electrical energy and making heat.

      its also way to small to be a proper swimmer, you are going to be bashing yourself off all the seats and ends

  3. Any recommendations for WA state dealers?

  4. Hello,
    I am a total novice to the swim spa world and I need advice. I love the reviews and informative videos on Master Spas, Dimension One and Hydropool. I know that you like Master Spas, but what are your thoughts on the other two? I’m looking for a large swim area and a dual temp hot tub portion. My husband and son are 6”5″ over 250 lbs, so I need a big boys’ swim spa.
    It’s very overwhelming to consider parts, insulation, in-ground, portability…etc. HELP please 🙂

    • Hi Nicole

      Holy Jumpin 6″5″! make sure you get a 60 inch deep swim spa…

      I noticed you answered your own question with regards to the Hydropool and the Dimension one would be a step up, but its 51″ deep. and really its not up the performance or spec of the H2X never mind the Phelps!

      Have a look at the H2X Trainer 19 Deep

      • Thank you for your insight and thank you for the time you take to help us newbies. After reviewing almost every link on your website, I also decided on the H2X Trainer 19 Deep – – you and I are on the same page with that one 🙂

        You made the decision MUCH easier and cost effective for me, based on everyone’s comments on your website. I’m sure that initially the H2X will cost much more, but I’ll likely spend less on maintenance if the swim spa is built to the standards that you and Consumer Affairs have touted.

        It won’t be for a year or so when I return back to the States, but I’ll be sure to post my purchase and opinion on your website when I buy.

  5. What are your thoughts on thermospas? We were looking at the Concorde platinum offered at right around $12k.

    • I am not a big fan of Thermos spas, it’s not that it is s nightmare brands but its middle of the road and you can likely get better value for your money.

      It uses a perimeter insulation system, they will sell against full foam systems by claiming it is hard to find leaks and to service but with the Icynene foam it’s not the case, the truth is it’s just a lot less expensive to do perimeter systems…

      The controls are good but the fact that they still use an air blower is a big warning sign. air blowers are cheap systems that blow cold air into the tub (even the heated ones are too cool), they are noisy and are used because it ups the jet count and adds value when selling but the reality is no one really uses these anymore except usually mass merchants and on-line guys.

      The 10 year warranty is pro-rated which means you pay after the first year 100% coverage for the first (1) year, 75% for the next two (2) years, 50% for the following three (3) years and 25% for the remaining four (4) years

      Also, guarantee for labour is only one year… You would be better with a 3-year parts and labour

    • Hi. I’m located in Long Island NY. I am looking to purchase a spa for 5-5500 max before tax. Is this possible? We received a price on the clarity balance 7 for $5795. Delivery, regular cover and standard steps. Is there a Brand or model you would reccomend over this? Is my budget for a decent spa unrealistic? Thanks so much for any incite you may provide!

      • The Clarity is a good spa, well built, well insulated, good parts list, and brand new shell design that’s open and has a huge foot well… And the price is good.

        You could look at the plastic rotationally moulded spas for less but most of the acrylic spas at that price point are just not very well built.

      • We live on L.I. as well. A few questions. A) did you purchase the Clarity Balance 7? B) If not, what did you purchase? C) Are you pleased with your purchase? D) Who did you purchase from. Thanks, J

  6. Your website is invaluable. It is incredible how little competitive information is available on hot tubs and the amount of misinformation makes it very difficult to make an educated decision.

    I attended the western MA Expo over the weekend and it was difficult to make heads or tails out of what you are told by these fast talking high pressure salesman. They quote you three different prices and tell you that the third one is the lowest they are allowed to go. How do you know if the price is fair?

    I know you like Master Spas but I haven’t heard you comment on the Healthy Living Series. They quoted me a price on the HL7 of $7995. They told me that it has the same high quality parts as found in the Twilight Tubs. Is that true and what do you think of this model. Is the price good?

    Thanks for providing unbiased knowledgable information on this market.

    • Hi PJ

      You know I don’t like the Expos for that reason but they are usually a good place for a deal, The plus side is the price the downside is the hype and pressure and in some cases the lack of a local support network, but if you’re a handyman or have access to one that’s not such an issue.

      One of the reasons Master is at the top of my list is they use the same high standard of construction on all their lines, the only things that change are the therapy massage and some flash…

      So Yes The HL are good tubs and the price is good.

  7. My wife and I attend a factory direct show yesterday for Master Spa, we like the Twilight Series 7.2. It does include the Eco-Pure Filtration…. Paper work does not mention specifically the “QuiteFlo Water Care System” and Mast3rPur water management system…. Is that include or an additional option?? Also, the “show” price is $8,895… Is that a competitive price? Thanks for your insight! This is a very helpful site!!!

  8. Hello. I think you guys are very knowledgable, so I bought a Master Spa at an expo. It is a Legend LSX-800, and I paid $11,700 before taxes. The dealer is David’s Entertainment and is located in Waynesville, NC. Is that a fair price, and do you know if that dealer is good for service needs. Thanks. Ed

    • Hi Ed.

      $11,700 is a smoking price, I’m not sure about that dealer but if you have any issues get onto the factory they can help with a lot of little things.

      • Wayne and Vivian Morse

        Dear Adm,
        We are researching swim spas, lots of good, diverse advice obtained. Went to Massachusetts Expo yesterday and Master Spa H2X Trainer 15 became our focus quoted price $23,295 before taxes. What is your opinion? Fair price? Good swim spa?
        We think your blog info supports our research. Thank you for educating us further.

        Hip surgery and fitness is our focus as well as grandkids’ enjoyment.

        • Hi Guys

          The H2X is arguably one of the best swimmers out there.

          The 60″ shell depth makes a massive difference and the flow rates are great, The new velocity plate injector makes a real difference, I swam in the old one and swimming in the new one was a massive difference.

          $23295 is low, Is that on a display model?

          Either way, you really cant go wrong, its a great product master invented these things and they are the official suppliers to the Iron man, and USA Swimming which is the governing body of pro swimming in the US.

          • Wayne and Vivian Morse

            Thanks. Incredibly helpful info from you. It is the 51 inch deep one and it is an Expo inventory. Seems to be a discount of $3,000. Test swimming Sunday morning!!!

        • Wayne and Vivian Morse

          Dear admin,
          Today we continued our search and saw a Artesian Tidalfit EP 12 for $15,000. Is Artesian comparable to MasterSpa? Vivian will swim in MaterSpa wet test Sunday morning. We are getting close to making decision.

          Thank you in advance for your input. Vivian and Wayne

          • Dude if you swim in the 2 units you will buy the H2X for sure the artesian build id great as is the Master but the benefits that master got from the deal with Phelps on development is crazy, the H2X and Phelps models are such superior swimmers. The deal with Phelps was not just an endorsement it was years of working together to develop[ a true swim trainer… It’s why Iron man signed on this season, these units are not only built right but they perform like nothing else out there.

  9. What are your thoughts on Jacuzzi? I thought it was weird that you haven’t mentioned them on your site.

    • I am really not a jacuzzi fan at all. In fact it os one of about 4 brands that we refuse to service, difficult access, and mid-grade build quality.

      They are one of the small group of companies that have all the parts made special for them so that you can not source parts, it guarantees them your business for life at their dictated price because there is only one place you can get the parts and that is from them. Frankly, I would never sell or buy a brand that did not spend the money for the good proven North American parts list like Balboa and Waterways, these proven reliable expensive parts work reliably for years and are readily available and competitively priced when you do need replacements. In my opinion, the only reason a manufacturer does this is to save money on a cheaper parts list and to guarantee your business for parts down the road.

      It is never a good scenario when you need a part and there is only one person who can sell it to you. If you stick to a good parts list you not only will it last longer, but if it does fail you can’t be held to ransom for the price because the top OEM parts are readily available and competitive.

  10. I’m finding it really difficult to find anything like this in the UK! Do you have any advice? I’m looking to purchase a few for a rental business so getting them cheaper would be awesome. But I would also like to start a network up to be honest. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Hi Mike

      Wow the hot tub rental market is risky as hell. In almost 30 years of doing this I have seen hundreds start and fail and none survive.

      The problem is to make it viable you need to get a lot more money than people are willing to spend.

      But if you are determined then a either a plug and play roto mold or somthing like the softtub…

  11. I have read your reviews on the Master Spas and went to their website and was given a name of a company and spoke with a very nice sales guy. However, he said they have a local warehouse but said the best bet was to go to their expo later this month. Now I don’t know what to do. Any ideas?

  12. I truly appreciate this article post.Really thank you! Want more. Herschaft

  13. I wish the public would read this entire site! As a small hot tub shop for the last couple decades, we are trying to educate potential customers. I just shared your information on all my social media! Thank you!!

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  17. Where were you a year ago??? I got screwed by these bastards at a show in march last year, found out later the local company sells the same line for $1000 less 🙁

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